The Big Problem With Texas Kolaches, Is They’re Not Kolaches.
As the great philosopher once said, "Ignorance is bliss." Be careful when you're browsing the web; there are things out there that will shake the very foundations of what you like to call "reality."
For instance, the big problem with kolaches in Texas, is they aren't kolaches. Let me explain...
Don't Send The Donut Shop Mafia After Me. I'm Just A Messenger.
I'm as shocked as you are. Frankly, I doubt many know the origin of what is basically a Texas breakfast staple. They're everywhere you look.
Anytime a box of donuts are delivered to an office, a box of kolaches accompanies it. Many a school-aged child snags one on the way to school for breakfast. When I was in college, I would get them for fifty-cents a pop at a little mom and pops roadside breakfast stand outside of Nacogdoches.
I always thought that the meat and cheese filled pastries were kolaches. That's what I was taught.
The Truth About Kolaches Is Sweet And Will Set You Free
Long story short, kolaches were a staple dish of the early Czech communities that popped up in the late 1800s in Texas. These kolaches were made from yeast dough and are basically filled with some kind of jam. Once in a while, there might be some cheese involved.
Meat, however, was never a part of what is traditionally known in other parts of the world as a kolache.
So what happened?
Texas Put Its Own Spin On The Kolaches
It wouldn't take long before the inevitable happened. Texas put a Texas spin on the kolache. Legend has it that before long the staple sausage, cheese, and jalapeno flavors were added.
The interesting thing is that these "new" concoctions weren't kolaches, but something completely different.
Say Hello To The Klobasnek
What many Texans refer to as a kolache, are actually klobasnek. These are the pastries that come traditionally with sausage and cheese, and now include everything from ham to boudin if you travel out in east Texas.
Look up a recipe for klobasnek, and you'll find what you ate this morning and called it a kolache.
What's In A Name? A Lot Of History And Culture.
Does it change the way it tastes? No. Will I stop eating them because of a misunderstanding? No.
I am, however, probably going to look at them a little differently. These aren't just pastries, but a piece of a culture that arrived here a long, long time ago. Overtime, that piece of Czech culture has been absorbed into part of what it means to be a Texan.
It would be fun, and I triple-dog-dare you, to order a klobasnek the next time you pull up at a donut shop and just watch the confusion melt across the person's face.